Awe­some mu­sic you may have missed – this week, Stina Nor­den­stam

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - TICKET STUBS - Donal Di­neen

Hear­ing Stina Nor­den­stam’s child­like voice and ex­tra­or­di­nary mu­sic for the first time tends to throw up ques­tions of scale in the mind of the lis­tener. Mys­ti­fy­ingly, there is some­thing mighty and im­mea­sur­able about her sound, yet con­ver­sly she sings in in­ti­mate, hushed and frag­ile tones.

This is one for the ded­i­cated lis­ten­ers in the au­di­ence. Her words weave starry webs through emo­tional sound­scapes, brood­ing and ex­pan­sive. Her voice is soft and gen­tle in tim­bre and its pat­terns are del­i­cately spun to ap­pear almost weight­less. The ef­fect is mes­meris­ing. No­body sings like her.

She’s a very quiet force of na­ture made all the more al­lur­ing and per­sua­sive for that un­com­mon level of re­straint she dis­plays. But there is magic ev­ery­where in it. It’s like weather, her mu­sic, so nat­u­ral and seem­ingly in tune with el­e­men­tal forces.

There is a core still­ness in all of her songs sug­ges­tive of an In a Silent Way- era Miles Davis. It re­ally is that good. There are no procla­ma­tions. In­stead the rev­e­la­tions come couched in whis­pers. She em­bod­ies the no­tion of there be­ing beauty in all things in­clud­ing si­lence.

In photographs and videos she phys­i­cally ap­pears to oc­cupy almost no space. Very few bi­o­graph­i­cal de­tails are avail­able which only serves to heighten the mys­te­ri­ous­ness of it all.There are no in­ter­views, blogs, tweets or posts to cloud the pic­ture.

There have only been six al­bums since 1991 and none at all since 2004. All six are wor­thy of in­ves­ti­ga­tion but the sec­ond, 1994’s And She

Closed Her Eyes, is the cer­ti­fi­able master­piece I’m re­fer­ring to here.

Here’s where the years spent lis­ten­ing to her fa­ther’s jazz and clas­si­cal records come to fruition. She builds an avant grade bridge from ear­lier in­flu­ences to some­where en­tirely new and com­pletely her own.

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